Let’s pretend for a moment that we have been life long friends. I have developed an incurable heart condition that could cause me to drop over dead at any moment. I come to you concerned about death. I say, “What if there really is a God, and what if there really is a heaven and hell? How can I know for sure that I will go to heaven?” What would be your response?
Would you tell me to pray? What do I pray about?
Would you tell me to get baptized? What if I fall over dead before I get the opportunity? And besides, what does getting wet have to do with my eternal soul?
Would you tell me to do good deeds? How many would be enough?
Would you tell me to go see a spiritual leader? How do I know he will tell me the truth?
Jesus Christ said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).
In a prayer to God the Father, Jesus said, “thy word is truth” (John 17:17). The Bible, God’s perfect word and revelation to mankind, is absolute truth and it tells us about Jesus Christ who was God manifest in the flesh, truth incarnate. Do you want to know the truth about eternity? Do you want to know 100% for sure how you can go to heaven when you die and be saved from eternal punishment in hell? I pray you do. If so, please read what the Bible says about how to receive eternal life…
First, you must understand that you need eternal life because YOU ARE A SINNER.
“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:” (Romans 3:10)
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” (Romans 3:23)
Why are we sinners?
You will admit there is more to you than meets the eye. You are a body, a soul, and a spirit – you are a trinity. Your body will deteriorate and eventually turn to dust. Your soul and spirit are what really defines who you are. Your soul actually has a bodily shape – your physical body is merely a shell that contains your soulish body. The Bible tells us that a person’s soul can see, taste, touch, hear, speak, and feel pain when it leaves the body at death. It is your soul that will burn in hell for eternity and never be consumed.
Your spirit is dead, meaning that it cannot experience constant communion with God (who is eternal life). When Adam, the first man, sinned his spirit died that very day. From that moment every person born has been born with a dead spirit – they are separated from God. That is why Jesus said we must be born again. The Bible says because of Adam’s sin, every one is born with a sinful nature.
How do we know we are sinners?
Sin is all the bad things we do. God wrote His law on our heart so that we know what is right and what is wrong. You might not be too bad in comparison to me. You might be a really good person but you will not be judged based upon my standard or your standard. You will be judged based upon God’s standard.
Many people have the mistaken notion that God has a scale of justice where on one side of the scale He places their good works and on the other side He places their bad works. If the good outweighs the bad (and, of course in their mind it always does) then God will overlook their “sin” and grant them eternal life. The fact of the matter is, the scale weighs all of our works against the goodness of Jesus Christ. In that comparison we will always be found wanting. The law (Ten Commandments) is God’s measuring stick to see how far short we fall next to Christ. Let’s see how you stack up…
Have you ever told a lie? What does that make you? If I told you a lie what would you call me? God takes the position that all men are liars. There are several kinds of lies: premeditated out-and-out lies, half-truths, exaggeration, unfulfilled promises, hypocrisy, etc.
The Bible says, “all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone” (Rev. 21:8).
God places great importance upon His name. To speak irreverently of the name of the Lord is blasphemous. Have you ever taken God’s name in vain? Have you used “God,” “Jesus,” or “Christ” in daily conversation in a derogatory or light-hearted manner? This is blasphemy.
The Bible says, “That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment” (Matt. 12:36).
Have you ever committed adultery? Perhaps not physical adultery but Jesus said if you think sexual thoughts in your heart it is as if you have committed the very act. Spiritual adultery is unfaithfulness to God.
The Bible says, “Be not deceived: neither fornicators… nor adulterers… shall inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Cor. 6:9,10).
Have you ever stolen anything? Do you give your employer 8 hours work for 8 hours pay? If not you are stealing from your employer. Have you stolen credit for someone else’s labor? Have you ever taken something that does not belong to you without permission?
The Bible says, “nor thieves… shall inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Cor. 6:10).
Do you trust in or love anything more than God? If so, that is to make that object a god – that is idolatry. Do you trust or love your money, your intelligence, your family, pleasure or anything more than God?
The Bible says, “idolaters… shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death” (Rev. 21:8).
We have only looked at five of the Ten Commandments and it has already revealed you are a lying, thieving, blasphemous, adulterer and idolater at heart and you must face God on judgment day. You are separated from God because of sin…
Second, you must understand that NO SELF-EFFORT CAN EARN SALVATION.
Man tries different ways to reach God, but sadly they all fall short. This is one thing that separates true biblical Christianity from all religions of the world – you cannot earn your way to heaven by good works.
The Bible says, “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags” (Is. 64:6).
The Bible says, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Eph. 2:8,9).
Third, you must understand that the PENALTY OF YOUR SIN IS AN ETERNITY IN HELL.
You are separated from God because of sin and you cannot earn your way to heaven. Sin must be judged and because of God’s goodness, He must see that justice is carried out. Will a criminal in a court of law that is found guilty of rape, murder and stealing have the crimes overlooked by the judge? Should a criminal be brought to justice? If we as sinful creatures see the need for justice, how much more so does a holy God?
This is the most serious subject you will ever consider.
The Bible says, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).
One day you will be judged by God Himself. The most self-assured, intellectual, refined, moral person will tremble naked in fear before a just and holy God that demands righteousness. There will be no second chances on judgment day. There will be no winking at sin from God. There will be no temporary punishment. God is not a senile, bearded old-man that wanders from cloud to cloud. God is the eternal, all-powerful, all-knowing, ever-present, holy, creator of the universe and one day He will be your judge.
Fourth, the good news is that JESUS CHRIST TOOK THE PUNISHMENT FOR YOUR SIN.
The Bible says, “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit” (1 Pet. 3:18).
Jesus Christ died for our sins, was buried and rose again the third day so that he might bring us to God.
Jesus Christ is God. He left heaven and entered the womb of a virgin girl as a baby. Jesus lived a perfect life. He never thought a bad thought. He never said a bad word. He never did anything wrong. And when He was nailed to the cross, He took all your sins, and everybody’s sin, on His own body. The Bible says, “For he [God] hath made him [Jesus] to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him [Jesus].”
Jesus took your sins. His soul was made an offering for your sin. You see, God demands a payment for sin. Jesus made that payment. He gave His life for your life. He was buried and three days later He rose from the dead. Every other religion says you can do something to be saved. But God’s way is that you can’t do anything to be saved. He had to do it for you – and that required the sacrificial death of His Son. God requires a bloody sacrifice, because the life of the flesh is in the blood. Life for life. Man’s blood is impure. He sent His precious Son whose blood is without spot, it’s pure. He shed His blood for you.
You see, eternal life is a free gift. Jesus bought that gift with His own blood. It’s already paid for. He wants to give it to you today? Do you want to be saved today? Do you want to know for sure that if you died today you’d go to heaven?
Do you know you are a sinner?
Do you realize the penalty of that sin is an eternity in hell?
Are you willing to turn (repent) from self-effort and self-righteousness and trust on Jesus Christ alone for salvation and a new life?
Do you know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and He took your sin, He died, He rose from the dead, and He wants to save you today?
If so, call out to God for salvation today.
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Rom. 10:9,10)
“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Rom. 10:17)